He’s known as “The Godfather of Chinese food” in and around the Chinese restaurant circle in Memphis. Eddie Pao is more than a restaurant owner- he’s a teacher, a mentor, and a master of the craft.⠀
Mr. Eddie’s patience, passion, and raw talent are what are to thank for 40 years of successful business and delicious Chinese cuisine in Memphis, according to his daughter, Michelle Pao Levine. After coming to Memphis from Taiwan in 1977 with very little resources, he built his career from the ground up with the help of his family, friends, and complete strangers.⠀
Starting off in the industry washing dishes, he learned every position required to run a restaurant after only one year. In 1978, Eddie opened up his first, 8-table restaurant called Formosa, named after the island of Taiwan his family is from.⠀
Through a series of transformations and location changes, Formosa transitioned into what is now Mosa Asian Bistro, located at 850 S White Station Road. The restaurant has grown in size, but is still tight knit and family run, with Mr. Eddie cooking in the kitchen on a regular basis and sharing ownership with his children Michelle and Alex.⠀
The Pao’s consider their staff to be a part of their own family, and believe in investing in them beyond just giving them a job. With over seven countries being represented in the Mosa kitchen, some having been there over 20 years, the crew can vouch for the honest dedication Eddie and his family have to them and the restaurant.⠀
Eddie says he’s returning the help that he received when he was just getting started. “When I needed the help, it was given to me. Now, I just want to give it back.”⠀
Eddie, daughter Michelle, and son Alex use the restaurant business to share the art and culture of their family and to invest in the lives of Memphians. Eddie Pao, the man behind it all, views cooking as an art, and uses it as an avenue to teach important life lessons.⠀
“We’re so much more than a just a restaurant… Eddie is an institution. And what’s made our success is family, values, and mentorship.” -Michelle Pao-Levine⠀
Go try some of Eddie’s favorite dishes, and stay tuned for our next #MemphisFoodHero! #ediblememphis 🍜🍤🍚🥠
**dishes featured (in order)
Rainbow Panang Curry, Yuan Bao, Mr. Eddie’s Favorite Noodles
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